Elliot Easton: “Shayla” (1985)

A likeable, wistful pop song from an album that should have gotten more attention.

Kronomyth 1.2: Shayla not Sheena.

In 1985, Easton was on top of the charts. Sheena Easton, that is. Elliot Easton, who had already made a name for himself in The Cars, was now looking to make a career to match the name. Change No Change, essentially a collaborative effort between Easton and Jules Shear, was a good start: tuneful, intelligent, balanced. The first single, “(Wearing Down) Like a Wheel,” wisely placed his guitar front and center. The second single, Shayla, was a catchy ballad that suggested Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello or Marshall Crenshaw without the sharp teeth.

It appears that “Shayla” was issued as a kind of twofer with “(Wearing Down) Like a Wheel” on the flip side. A write “appears” because I haven’t seen an actual copy of it myself, although I have seen the promotional 7-inch and 12-inch singles that feature only the A side. Maybe the label had second thoughts or radio stations preferred the wheel deal. Either way, the first single should have been “Wide Awake.” Great song, that.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Shayla (Elliot Easton/Jules Shear) (2:47)
B1. (Wearing Down) Like a Wheel (Elliot Easton/Jules Shear)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in March 1985 in the US (Elektra, 7-69645). Also released as promotional 7-inch and 12-inch single in 1985 in the US (Elektra, 7-69645, ED 5050) feat. A only.

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